Ruth Slavid talks architecture

Rat tales

Posted in housing, landscape design by ruthslavid on June 26, 2010

Noel Farrer of landscape architect Farrer Huxley was telling horrific stories, using a phrase that is new to me – ‘rat bloom’. This is what happens when conditions are so favourable, that the rat colony expands to occupy all the available space. When he worked on Broadwater Farm estate in north London, they poisoned all the rats which then filled several skips. And on Abbey Orchard Court development, a Peabody estate in Victoria, he opened a 10 foot deep inspection chamber to find it solid with rats – yuk.

But it was the need to redo the courtyard that led to Farrer persuading Peabody to banish the cars and create an entirely new and very successful environment.  He led a tour round the estate and its neighbours as part of the London Festival of Architecture, and I will be writing about it in Specification Magazine’s Hotels, Sport and Leisure supplement.